Jeff Bagato

Point Blank

the lemon fresh in her mouth
as I kiss her, and the gun in my belly—
she’s a hot one;
the bricks at my back
have been baking in this sun
for weeks without rain—
you are the lover, this time,
stockings pulled up over knees—
and the sun gleaming
on the gun

this one
time I have crossed
the street without looking

the smell of her hair a net
to look through into the crowd,
the cars, shoppers—
gut tightening on the finger
of the gun and she
straightens it perpendicular
to my soul

lover, a peppermint
in your pocketbook is the only
release I desire,
your shooting of me will
have no meaning on a marked
sidewalk with chewing gum—

tigress rippling short fur, striped
beneath a high skirt, white
ruff at your neck, and
the blouse not sticking
to your breasts but I am
caught around your finger,
hooked into steel

have you come for me,
my blood

the lemon passed into my mouth,
and the bricks receiving

all the hot flesh of the world
in strips—this old
lady bids on a choice
rib and you accept
money for the fall

that was paradise, there and this
too could be called
a world

a short summer
love on a bed of nails

a hooked finger leaving
me hanging and the beefeaters
crowding around—
the lemon passing through
me to a crack in the sidewalk,
a taste of you on my lips

the history of man by men,
and the savage blows
to their own kind

redeems us,
as we have made
hell, like chatter,
a waiting room for eternal

she was so right to walk away

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